Mar 27, 2014

Fusion Energy Developments: for Space travel

It may not be the most efficient way of producing propulsion or power for consumption on earth, but for travel in the space/reducing travel time etc, fusion could be one of the best bets. 

So much so, that NASA has given two rounds of funding to a joint team of scientists from U Wash and  MSNW for a fusion based rocket project. Most of the big details of Slough et al's work is discussed in the paper (below) and Technews's article (link below).

One set of three rings weighing about 350 gm will be used for each implosion, Slough said. The pressure inside the rings will reach 600,000 atmospheres for a few microseconds, vaporizing the rings. The resulting superheated ionized metal will be ejected out of a divergent magnetic nozzle at high velocity. (link)

What I am really hoping is that this Lithium based fusion plasma reactor could spawn the development of a economical and safe fusion reactors for civilian power on earth.

This project has been partly funded by the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts Review.

Sources: The Fusion Driven Rocket: Nuclear Propulsion through Direct Conversion of Fusion Energy    Slough et al. 2013 (PDF paper)

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